Dear Aunt B,
I am a new reader and found your site through Google. You were the only site I came across that truly offered advice for free, I commend you.
My name is Jeremy and I'm 26 years old. I have a wife of four years and a three year old daughter, both were blessings in my life. My problem is my best friend Ben. Ben and I grew up together, we met in high school and played sports, dated and had alot of really goofy experiences together. We were inseparable.
When I met my wife and we started getting really serious, we moved in together to an apartment across town. Not far away, maybe ten minutes from Ben. We still called and played golf, did guy stuff together. When I told him I was marrying her, his response was supportive but not much else. Not even a congratulations.
Ben and I didn't talk alot when my daughter was born. I was worried about working as much as I could to keep as much money in my bank account to provide for them, I really never thought about Ben as much as I should have. He still came over to my house to watch movies or go out to a bar for a couple of hours, play golf together once in a while.
Ben met someone about a year ago. I kept asking to meet her but he always had some excuse. He called me one day about a month later telling me to get my best man speech ready because he was going to ask her to marry him. I had never met this girl. I told him to come to the bar with me so I could give him some advice on getting married. He says okay but don't tell your wife, I'm bringing (his girl) so you can meet her. I told him I wasn't going to lie to my wife, I just wasn't coming if that's the way he wanted it.
So he begged and I brought my wife along anyway. We're sitting at dinner and I'm watching this girl treat my best friend like he was a little child. Wiping his face with a napkin and picking up some of his food for him. I didn't like the way he seemed, all I know is that Ben wasn't the guy I had known for 10+ years. The next day we met for a beer after work and he asked me what I thought of his girl. I was straight with him that I didn't like the way she treated him and that he should really think about what he was doing in marrying this girl.
He threw a ten dollar bill down on the table and tried to walk out. I caught him by his arm and told him this wasn't over, he was going to stay and talk about this with me. He still took off and that's the last time we really spoke.
We recently started emailing which is a good step, although now he won't email me back. I found out thru these emails that he never really liked my wife and the speech he gave as my best man was all lies...actually his fiance' told me that. I feel like I owe it to him to be there on his big day, which is now 6 weeks away. I have tried to get him to meet me somewhere to talk about things and where they went wrong and to no avail.
I feel like we have too much history to abandon this lost cause because he just doesn't get it. What can I do, if anything? Thank you for listening.
I thank ya kindly for the compliment. We are unique, are we not? We've all been down a few roads and I know I was rode hard and put away wet. Now, if we can help someone have a little easier ride, well, I guess that's what it's all about. Plus, I still owe Mz. Karma Bitchslap™, some good before I go.
Well my Dear Jeremy, I'm gonna tell you just like I might if you were one of my own. I have three sons and an adopted daughter, 7 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, all of which find themselves in the corner, from time to time, me chewing their ear, maybe even boxing them. Yes, I have always carried a big stick and at 49, I can still dance. I tell it like it is and I will treat you like family. That gives me the inalienable right to cut to the chase, to hell with the democracy. Welcome to the Family...
First, I want to make you aware that I can see that you are grateful for your wife and child, you see them as blessings while others may take it all for granted. With a continued appreciative heart and a conscience effort to always be thankful, you will be one step ahead of this program. Too many of us can't appreciate the water till the well runs dry, right? Selah
If you've read anything, that I've written here, you'll notice a recurring theme or method to my madness; I try to put things into perspective. After all, life and love is all a matter of perspective and how we choose to look at things. Hopefully, we choose to look for the good in people, first and have an optimistic heart. This equates, to me anyway as, well you know, some people say the glass is half empty, some say the glass is half full, right? Personally, I'm just grateful for the water and you must be too. Selah
You know that good friends are hand picked family and sometimes you must strive for that unconditional love, unconditional understanding, afforded to family.
I do believe that Ben is part of your handpicked family and you may have to just let him be Ben. You'll have to choose to over look some things, things that might not sit well with you. Yes, even if you feel she may not be right for him, he'll have to walk down "his road" and I'm hoping you'll walk on the berm along side him.
You do know the power of a woman on a man? Many men would never admit that power. Yes, a woman does wield the power to make or break a guy. As well, I say there is "a good woman behind every great man." The thing is though, in the dark of night, in the wee hours of the morn, at your final moment on this earth, it will be that woman next to you and not your best friend.
He didn't care for your wife, did he? You may never have known this had you not drawn "first blood." What I imply is that without realizing it, you may have started this fight.
Your buddy Ben, is a different man when he is with her, you do know this, don't you? And don't you think, if he didn't like her coddling and so on, you know the kind of stuff that makes you throw up in your mouth, is he not man enough to stop her or tell her he doesn't like it? Read that again.
Although Ben is behaving, so far from the guy you know and love as a brother, she may be just what the Doctor ordered. She may fulfill what he needs in those wee hours, in the dark of night. And if he's not man enough to tell her he doesn't like her doing these things, especially in front of his friends, well he must sit in his own shit, till he decides to man up and say how badly it stinks. Who knows what's in the hearts of men? Yes, a woman does have this ability to change the rules of the game.
In some ways, you see it as belittling, you know, wiping his mouth and so on but he may very well love every minute of it? So, somehow you've got to find it in your heart to be happy for your friend and assume that he does like things just as they are.
Now, if we assume that he does like things just as they are, would you, if the tables were turned, not find offense in your best friend implying that you are not man enough to stand up for himself against the evil which lurks in the heart of woman? Would you not be hurt that your friend didn't try to understand and be happy for you? Furthermore, would it not piss you off, if your friend asserted his opinion on the matter and put his two cents in where it would be perceived that it didn't belong?
I know and you know that you only have his best interests at heart. But life is much like a book with it's twists and turns, it's comedy and tragedy, it's plot and the plot has just thickened. Yes, Ben has opened a new chapter in his book, one where he has re-invented himself and it's not someone your recognize.
When you went onto another chapter, in your book, "This is Your Life," Ben didn't really recognize you at first either. He contemplated and wondered where he fit in in this new equation, this new chapter. Do you want to know how many times Ben asked himself, "What the hell does he see in her?" He also wondered where his best friend had gone and told himself that his feelings were unfounded and he didn't have the right to resent your new wife for stealing, his best buddy. Did you know that Ben was a bit lost and didn't know what to do with himself, after she took you? Your wedding day was not his best day but he tried to smile and get through it. He tried to be happy for you and accept things as they are and were. Yes, Ben often looked in the mirror and told himself what a real asshole he was being for faking his smile that day. He stood in front of that mirror, many times before and after your wedding day, searching his soul for the right feelings.
Life is too short for the dumb shit. Real friends are few and far between. They often go the wayside when you do open a new chapter, especially one where they no longer have anything in common. True friends, not associates, you know the ones that, as I said before are hand picked family, are the only ones that last, the only ones that will be *Pallbearers at your funeral.
Do you want Ben to be a Pallbearer and would you be one at his funeral? OK, it sounds a bit morbid but ask yourself this, would it be a lie to carry his casket or his yours? Would it be filled with lies if he were to give a Eulogy at your wake?
Write your friend, one more email and give him his Eulogy, today. Say what needs to be said. Search your soul for the right words. Search your soul for some semblance of happiness and understanding for your friend. Most of all, well, I'm going to just say it; You do owe him even a slice of an apology. Look at this pie and see why you want that slice, ok?
Yes, life is far too short for the dumb shit, as I said but it's never ever too late to do the right thing, right this minute. Jeremy, if you live your life today, like tomorrow will be your last and say what needs to be said but weigh your words first, you'll really live.
Keeping It Real,
*A pallbearer is one of several funeral participants who helps carry the casket of a deceased person from a religious or memorial service or viewing either directly to a cemetery or mausoleum, or to and from the hearse which does so.
A pall is the heavy cloth that is draped over a coffin. Hence the metaphoric term "casting a pall" on a gathering of people, by announcing bad news to the group. By metonymy, the term "pallbearer" is used to signify someone who bears the coffin which the pall covers.